Pakistan: A reality check amid the terror and chaos


"Editor's note: Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf came to power in a bloodless military coup in 1999 when he was chief of Pakistan's army. He held power until the 2008 elections after which he resigned; since then he has lived in self-imposed exile in London. In late 2010 he launched the All Pakistan Muslim League party with a view to running for office in 2013.

(CNN) -- Today Pakistan finds itself in the eye of the terrorism storm. An environment of controversies, contradictions, distortions and mutual suspicions prevails all around, polluting and weakening the war on terror.
The situation demands a clearer understanding of ground realities in south Asia, bridging the acute trust deficit and developing a unity of thought and action among all coalition players. Blame games, rigidity, arrogance and insensitivity to others' interests will always remain counterproductive.
I would like to start by analyzing the existing environment in its historical perspective. How did religious militancy get introduced into Pakistan? There is no doubt that Pakistan is a victim of terrorism and is certainly not the perpetrator.

In 1979, the United States, in its own interest of containing Soviet expansion, and Pakistan, in its own national interest of preserving its integrity against the Soviet design of reaching the warm waters of the Indian Ocean through Pakistan, initiated a jihad (holy war in defense of Islam) in Afghanistan. We inducted 25,000 to 30,000 Mujahedeen (holy warriors) from all over the Muslim world into Afghanistan and also pumped in Taliban from the tribal agencies of Pakistan after arming and training them..."


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